San Diego's vernal splendor

Spring evident in African daisies, India hawthorn, and sycamore trees

Plant African daisies to prevent soil erosion during heavy rains
  • Plant African daisies to prevent soil erosion during heavy rains

African Daisies are bursting into bloom around San Diego, especially along the freeway embankments. The name refers to a wide variety of species belonging to the genuses Arctotis, Dimorphotheca, and Osteospermum, with flowers ranging in color from yellow, orange, and white to purple. These hardy ground covers require little water except when in active growth and help to hold soil in place during heavy rains.

India Hawthorn, one of the most common flowering shrubs used in landscaping as hedges and dividers in San Diego, is blooming best right about now. The plant, which has several varieties, covers itself with blossoms ranging in hue from pinkish white to vivid pink.

February’s Days-Long Episodes of Bright Sunshine may have been be enough to trigger the early emergence of bright green leaves on sycamore, liquidambar, and other decorative deciduous trees around San Diego. Cruise down 163 through Balboa Park to appreciate the vernal splendor of the sycamores growing in the landscaped center divider. Or walk across Balboa Park’s Cabrillo bridge and look down upon the same.

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